As I walked through the narrow passage leading to Manju Barik’s house, I was greeted by their pet: a parrot; yes, it talks! As I settled down to converse with Manju, the parrot started to say, “Utho,” which means “Get up” in Hindi. It says that word in morning to wake up people. Soon Manju joined me after finishing her daily prayer. She is yet to prepare lunch for her family, but she says she’ll do so once I leave since it takes only about an hour. Thanks to the new low-smoke cook-stove, she even prepares dinner and breakfast within 1 hour and 30 minutes respectively. Her husband raises a paddy crop on the small plot of land they own and earns about Rs.35,000 every year by selling some of the produce. Her old cook-stove consumed about 6-8 sticks of firewood every day, while the new low-smoke cook-stove needs only 2. That saving of Rs.300 to Rs.400 through reduced fuel consumption is a lot for her family.
Manju Barik with her low-smoke cook-stove